The Ambassadors


Diversity at heart of This Is My City Festival and this is reflected in the an enviable list of city champions who are Ambassadors for the festival.
The city’s top representatives of film, arts, sport, music and media communities have come together to champion Birmingham’s incredible culture and its diverse voice.

Apache Indian BEM

Reggae star

Reggae star and Birmingham music legend Apache Indian is recognised internationally for his fusion of bhangra, reggae and pop.

The 53-year-old singer from Handsworth gained prominence in the 1990s with a string of hits including Boom Shack-A-Lak, Chok There and Don Raja.

Born Steven Kapur, the music artist gained a huge following in the UK, Canada and the USA, especially amongst music fans of South Asian heritage. In India, his tours regularly sold-out as crowds there received him with superstar status. Over the last 30 years, he has sold more than 11 million albums, had several top 10 singles globally and has toured the world eight times. Apache has collaborated with the likes of Sean Paul, Boy George, A. R. Rahman, Maxi Priest, Shaggy and Malkit Singh.

Apache Indian continues to make music while teaching recording and performing skills to a new generation. In 2013, , he founded AIM Academy (Apache Indian Music Academy) at South and City College in Birmingham, to pass onto young people the opportunity he had when he first started out. The project aims to help students aged 16-19 realise their dreams to become musicians, writers, DJs, producers and singers.

In 2021, Apache Indian was awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours, in recognition for his services to young people and music.

Christina Savvas

Head of Audience, Birmingham Live
Christina is a journalist and currently the Head of Audience at Birmingham Live. In 2004 she started her journalism career at The Sentinel Newspaper, as a deputy editor working across a number of titles and editions.

She then moved onto work at The Coventry Telegraph as a general news reporter in 2008, but after nine months returned to her home city to work for the Birmingham Mail. She has secured a number of exclusives across three titles and worked on the investigations team before moving to the digital side of the business. Christina also researched and wrote a book called Queens Of Amathus and also presented the documentary.

Tru Powell

Creative & Events Director, Aston Performing Arts Academy
Tru is a multi-award winning entrepreneur, creative director and events specialist. Tru is the Creative & Events Director for Aston Performing Arts Academy, a community interest organisation that exists to empower young people through performing and creative arts.

Since the organisations inception in 2004, the company has impacted the lives of over 3000 young people in the Midlands.

In addition, Tru is the Founder & Managing Director for The Alternative Events & Wedding Company, an event management company that specialises in coordinating high quality corporate, youth events and weddings.

Tru is also a Business Partner in the UK’s first children’s pamper salon Kandy Girl offering pampering experiences for young kids aged 3-16 and is also a visiting lecturer for University College Birmingham.

Tru is a NED for the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), TAG Network and a Trustee for Creative Academies and more recently a board member for The West Midlands Tourism Board.

Over the years Tru has been awarded with numerous accolades for enterprise and his contribution to the arts. In 2014 he was recognised as one of Birmingham’s most inspirational young leaders and in 2018 was crowned Birmingham’s Young Professional of the Year – Marketing and Communications. In 2018 Tru also won a Great British Entrepreneur Award from Natwest and the Phoenix Entrepreneur of the Year Award and was also crowned Birmingham’s Future Face of Entrepreneurship.

Shaleen Meelu

Special Advisor on City Food Policy - Food Foundation
Shaleen is a registered nutritionist and has worked in Public Health for nearly two decades. This includes setting up community nutrition initiatives and writing national guidance. Shaleen co-founded Harborne Food School in 2014 to support the public and organizations to develop culinary skills.

Shaleen is a registered nutritionist and has worked in Public Health for nearly two decades. This includes setting up community nutrition initiatives and writing national guidance. Shaleen co-founded Harborne Food School in 2014 to support the public and organizations to develop culinary skills. She is currently the nutrition theme, cross-cutting manager for a Horizon 2020 funded project focused on meeting the challenges of providing European citizens with affordable, safe and nutritious food and of creating healthier and more sustainable City Region Food Systems.

Shaleen joined the Food Foundation as Special Adviser on City Food Policy. She works on the Food Foundation’s Global Food Systems project funded by FCDO. This is the successor project to the Nutrition Smart City initiative, BINDI (Birmingham India Nutrition Initiative) which involved a learning partnership between Birmingham, UK and Pune, India. The work will focus on expanding the BINDI partnership to include cities from across the Commonwealth and beyond. Participating countries include India, Bangladesh, Botswana, Jamaica, Malawi, South Africa and Uganda.

Natalie Graham

Natalie Graham is a Record Label owner, Music Manager, Executive Producer, Writer, BBC Radio Presenter and Compere.

As manager of Birmingham’s very own British Soul music pioneer Jaki Graham, Natalie has toured and learnt from some of the most influential and key players within music, from those behind the scenes at management and Executive levels to Pop, Soul, R&B, Hip-Hop and Motown icons of the past and present.

Natalie’s experience and network has developed from her years within business, which has allowed her to also consult and facilitate for a number of additional industries outside of music including sport, property and chocolate!

Sindy Campbell

Sindy Campbell heads up Film Birmingham – the city’s film & TV office. She’s responsible for developing and supporting the local industry and promoting the region as a destination for film.

She has worked with film productions that includes Steve Spielberg’s ‘Ready Player One’, The Kingsman The Golden Circle, Line of Duty, BBC Doctors – to name a few.

She is passionate about the growth & sustainability of the industry and wants to see the workforce both in-front and behind the camera be a reflection of our diverse community. She’s a film producer and sits of the boards of Royal Television Society Midlands, Fierce and Project Aspie.

Marverine Cole

Award-winning Journalist and Broadcaster
Marverine Cole is an award-winning Journalist and Broadcaster from Birmingham. Her media career spans 30 years, the last 17 of those as a journalist, clocking up thousands of hours of live scripted and unscripted television presenting.

Starting as a reporter and producer at ITV Central News and BBC Midlands Today, Marverine moved to London to present news & current affairs programmes for Emmy-award winning channel Arise News, 5 News and Sky News. She is also a content creator, producing podcasts and digital news. Now, as an academic, Marverine is the Director of Birmingham City University’s four BA (Hons) Journalism courses.

Jackie Cummins

Director - J21 Coaching
Award Winning Coach & Mentor Jackie Cummins, established her business J21 Coaching 9 years ago and during this time has worked with a range of professionals with their aims and objectives for achieving greater results.

Jackie’s key areas in Coaching & Mentoring are: Business, Career & Personal Development and she will work with you on a range of areas that include; limiting beliefs, procrastination, change management, confidence/self belief issues, business growth and career opportunities.

With a calm and measured approach Jackie does all possible to bring out the best in her clients to ensure that they make improvements, break bad habits and tackle any challenges that are blocking a client from moving forward.

Jackie prides herself on her results for her clients and holds them all accountable for their actions.

Raurie ‘NOHUN’ Williams

NOHUN is a TikTok viral sensation from Birmingham.

Known for his funny rants, shopping trips and elevator dances. Starting out on Snapchat in 2017, NOHUN has now amassed over half a million combined followers across all platforms.

Aktar Islam

Birmingham born Aktar Islam is a multiple award-winning English Michelin starred chef, restaurateur and entrepreneur.

In 2018 launched his flagship restaurant Opheem that became the first ever Indian restaurant outside London to achieve a michelin star, he recently launched Pulperia in Brindley place; a restaurant dedicated to beef.

Aktar is dedicated to investing in Birmingham and promises to continue with new restaurant projects in the new future creating opportunities for young Brummies.

Dave Massey

Brum Hour
Dave Massey, is the owner of the highly successful social media networking platform ‘ Brum Hour’ which has 30,000 followers.

Dave also has his own show on Brum Radio, which he does every Monday.

Dave has agreed to come on board as a media partner with This Is My City.

Joshua Williams

Journalist & Presenter
Joshua Williams is a Birmingham based journalist, broadcaster and presenter.
Joshua is an avid fundraising fashionista, a vocal social activist and was elected President at the Guild of Students President at the University of Birmingham. Joshua has spent much of his career tackling inequality whilst championing the voices of minority groups; both regionally and nationally.
This is My City Festival 2021 ©
This Is My City Birmingham
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